Jamin Smith, Staff Writer - Amnesia: The Dark Descent, PC
Lights off, curtains drawn, headphones on, volume up. Bathing in the darkness of my empty house, I booted up Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the first time. I get a real kick out of being scared and wanted to ensure I was subjecting myself to the best conditions possible. Three hours later and I was scrambling for the nearest light switch; despite loving horror in all its forms, I wasn't prepared for how much the game would get under my skin. It's one of those games that's downright uncomfortable to play. Unless you're carrying your trusty lantern or huddling around the light emitted from the odd candle, you're not safe. A mere glance at the game's lumbering enemies is enough to deplete your sanity meter, so you simply don't look. As all good horror films prove, not knowing is far more frightening than knowing, which makes the occasional appearance of those... things, incredibly harrowing. It's an incredibly clever gameplay device, and used to staggering effect. I reckon I'm about three-quarters of my way through the game now, and I'm already confident it's knocked Condemned off its pedestal as the scariest game I've played. It's still holding its value at £12.99 on Steam, but I urge anybody who loves the excitement of being scared to check it out.
Martin Gaston, Staff Writer - Mass Effect 2, 360, PS3, PC
After last week's pledge, I promptly decided to abandon Red Dead Redemption and play Mass Effect 2 instead. Since I dropped forty hours into it across five days last year, I realised how few games have the same power over me as BioWare's space-opera sequel. For my second run I've decided to go through on Insanity difficulty as an Infiltrator (I decided against taking my Vanguard class out of retirement) and I've just landed on Horizon for my first face-off with the Collectors. Anyone who remembers this bit knows I'm in for quite a challenge, but this week I might actually persevere.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Bladerunner, PC
Westwood's Bladerunner: the only film-to-game adaptation you need in your life. It's also one of my top ten favourite games of all time, trivia fans. To be fair half of the enjoyment is based on it not being a re-telling of the original film. This time you play a different detective, Ray McCoy, hunting down a series of replicants in future LA. Rather than puzzles the game largely consists of detective work. Track down particular characters, interview them, search for clues, carry out Voight-Kampff tests on suspects. It's a fantastic, moody, atmospheric film noir-alike with as many tips of the hat to William Gibson's Neuromancer as Bladerunner the film.
Tom Pearson, Video Producer - Professor Layton and the Curious Village, DS
Me: "Hello, may I buy an apple off you my good lady?"
Old Frump: "Why yes of course my darling you can. However in order for me to give you the correct pricing of said apple you must first complete this puzzle. Which is written on the apple......In invisible ink......and upside down......and it's in French.....with some German thrown in there too............. I also didn't have enough room on the apple so half the puzzle is missing.....Enjoy ^_^"
Me: ">_<........ srsly"